Off to College? Get Organized!

Off to College? Get Organized!
  • Opening Intro -

    With college back in session, students will quickly find themselves immersed in their studies, reviewing their term paper assignments and attempting to plan out their next 16 weeks.

    A handful of breaks during that time will offer students some much needed respite, but the real rest comes for the student who is organized and ready to take on his daily activities.

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An organized student is one who has mastered the complexities of college life and has discovered that he can still have some fun and achieve his goals. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you get organized or improve upon what you’re already doing:

Study Area

A regular study schedule will do wonders to help you get better grades. If your dorm room offers sufficient room for study, then set up an area where you can sit down, open your books and study. A desk with a comfortable chair works best or an adjustable chair alone with a laptop table might prove ideal for you. If your room is not sufficient for your study needs, then familiarize yourself with your library’s schedule and plan to study there, preferably in a quiet area far removed from traffic. Your school may also offer other areas conducive to studying including a lounge, student center or study hall.

Time Management

Reduce your stress and improve your grades by setting aside an allotted time each day to study. Develop good study habits where you study first and then rest or play later. Review your day’s notes, check your professor’s e-mails and participate in scheduled online discussions, if any. When you receive a term paper assignment, immediately draft an outline to guide you over the coming weeks. Use an online or hard copy calendar to list deadlines and key project interval points when you should have your research completed, your first draft crafted and your final copy ready for review.

Meet the Professors

At some point in the semester, you’ll need to meet with each of your professors to introduce yourself and ask for clarification on one or more assignments. Even if you’re not “stuck” and you understand the task at hand, formally meeting your professor can go far in helping your instructor put a face with your name. This can come in handy later on when you need assistance and can remind him or her of your earlier conversation.

Attend Classes

It should go without saying that you need to attend every class unless an illness or an emergency come up. In any case, notify your professor by e-mail that you won’t be present, explaining your situation. A professor may overlook an excused absent than one where you simply fail to explain your reasons for missing class. Keep your professor in the loop as a missed class can effect your grades.

Campus Resources

Your school has a wealth of resources available to you, but you must take advantage of these to enhance your college experience. If you’re struggling in class and need tutoring, your school can provide a tutor for you. If you get sick or are homesick, there are medical and psychological services available to you. If you’re not sure what classes to take, what major to declare or have some other questions regarding your progress, an academic advisor is there to help. Peer counseling is also available, an option you might prefer. Log on to your college’s website to find an updated list of resources that are available to you.

Importantly, finding balance between your school, work and social life is essential. And don’t neglect your spiritual life too, setting aside time to connect with like-minded people who can support you and guide you as you navigate your way through college.

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